Speaking Tuesday to hundreds of people gathered together to support the Kentucky clerk, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee slammed the judge who just last week ordered the defiant Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to jail for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses.
Prior to introducing Davis to the cheering crowd, Huckabee said her situation wasn't a Republican versus Democrat issue as U.S. District Judge David Bunning is a Republican and Davis, an elected official, is a Democrat. Bunning ordered Davis' release from jail earlier Tuesday.
"God showed up as an elected Democrat of Kim Davis," Huckabee said, using a quote from "Forrest Gump."
Huckabee said he has a message for the judge — a message that he's reiterated throughout the day.
"Let Kim go," Huckabee said. "But if you have to put someone in jail, I volunteer to go. Let me go. Lock me up if you think that's how freedom is best served."
"I am willing to spend the next eight years in the White House leading this country, but I want you to know I'm willing to spend the next eight years in jail, but I'm not willing to spend one day under the tyranny of people who believe they can take our freedom and conscience away," Huckabee said at the rally.
"She has shown more courage than any politician I know," Huckabee said to the crowd.
As Davis has been released, her lawyer, Mat Staver, said she will immediately return to work where she will still refuse to "violate her conscience." Upon her release, the judge ordered that she could not withhold marriage licenses.
"We are pleased that Kim Davis has been ordered released. She can never recover the past six days of her life spent in an isolated jail cell, where she was incarcerated like a common criminal because of her conscience and religious convictions,” Staver, with the Liberty Counsel, said in a statement Tuesday. “She is now free to return to her family, her coworkers and the office where she has faithfully served for the past 27 years. We will continue to assist Kim and pursue the multiple appeals she has filed.”
At a press conference following the announcement of Davis' release, Staver said that the "court order did not resolve the underlying issue."
"We've asked for a simple solution — get her name and authority off the certificate. The judge could order that," Staver said.
Huckabee wasn't the only Republican presidential contender to make an appearance at Davis' rally in Kentucky. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was also in attendance and met with the clerk.